This is the tenth in a series of posts, one for each day, of an incredible 2-week volunteer & adventure trip to Costa Rica I took in December 2022. I wasn’t sure this trip would happen, but luckily it did.
hotel with a view
Another jam-packed day! We strolled around the beautiful hotel grounds in the morning, admiring the view of the majestic Arenal Volcano. Arenal is one of seven historically active Costa Rican volcanoes. It measures at least 5,358 ft (1,633 m) high and is conically shaped with a crater 460 ft (140 meters) in diameter. Geologically, Arenal is considered a young volcano estimated to be less than 7,500 years old.
The volcano was dormant for hundreds of years and exhibited 2 craters at its summit, with minor fumaroles (an opening in or near a volcano through which hot sulfurous gases emerge) activity, covered by dense vegetation. In 1968 it erupted unexpectedly and destroyed the small town of Tabacón. Due to the eruption, three more craters were created on the western flanks but only one of them still exists today. Arenal’s eruption from 1968 to 2010 is Earth’s tenth longest-duration volcanic eruption since 1750. Since 2010, Arenal has been dormant. Wikipedia
hanging bridges park
Then after a delicious breakfast, we climbed into the van, making our way to the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park. A great way to commune with the diverse biodiversity and flora & fauna of Costa Rica. While they offer many different guided tours, we took the self-guided tour.
Interesting history behind the park as well. The Castillo Rodríguez family worked the land they inherited from their parents that is located in the Arenal Volcano foothills. They knew that the true value of the land lay in its natural treasures and oversaw the development of the ecotourism project named Los Puentes Colgantes del Arenal (The Arenal Hanging Bridges). This would allow people from around the world to admire the forest’s beauty. Very grateful that they did. Definitely, a must-see when in Costa Rica.
After a hearty lunch, we made our way to a little town for a coffee & some sweets. Next, we traveled to the Paraside Hot Springs resort. Once there, we wandered through different sections that had pools of varying temperatures. The water, naturally heated by the Arenal Volcano is pure and without any added chemicals. Water’s geological origin can be telluric or magmatic; in Paradise, the water is telluric. This means it’s young rainwater that is filtered through the earth and circulates through different depths, gathering on its way minerals and gaining temperature when making contact with very hot materials.
The hot springs water contains all of the original minerals of the hot spring, around twelve different ones. According to a study performed by Gala Termal (a Spanish consultancy company for thermal water centers) our water is described as hyperthermal water of mild mineralization with sodium chloride, magnesium, and sulfates. As the name suggests, the water’s main minerals are sodium chloride, magnesium, and sulfates, though it also contains a high proportion of calcium and bicarbonates.
There were also hot tubs, lounging chairs under the water that you could relax on, and float-up bars. Amazing! After a couple of glorious hours of relaxing, we had dinner at a lovely restaurant with fancy tropical drinks. A great way to end a great day!
Thanks again to my travel mates for letting me use their photos & videos to supplement mine.
I hope you enjoyed my volunteer & adventure trip to Costa Rica, day 10, La Fortuna. Probably my favorite day so far after the chocolate tour on day 9. If you missed day 9, click here. To catch up from the beginning, day 1, click here.
Pura Vida ❤️
Until the next adventure, my friend!